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Young Billy Martin has to learn that being clean isnt the same as being a sissy. One night, a giant, talking cake of soap wearing tights and a puffy-sleeved shirt assures him of this fact. This film, like many personal hygiene films, taught kids about germs and what to do to avoid them in case their parents neglected to do so.
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Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Historical hair-washing info!
2 weeks in between washings does sound like a lot, BUT shampoo back then was very harsh and stripped the hair of all oils. 'Creme rinse' (now known as conditioner!) hadn't come about yet, so after you washed your hair, it was a frizzy, flyaway mess that took at least a few days to calm down. Most women washed their hair once a week and it wasn't all that gross. Also, it took so much time and effort to 'set' your hair into even a simple style that if you washed it even every other day, you'd be in curlers all the time! Ever heard the old phrase "I just washed my hair and can't do a thing with it?" Or "I can't go out tonight, Billy, I just washed my hair!" Now you know what they were talking about!
Subject: ....Billy Could....
Have Used That Big Mouthed Soap To Great Advantage...Oh Soapy, Oh Soapy..Im, Im...Cu......
LDarling Hook -
Subject: This is what it was like, kids!
Very typical for an educational film of that vintage. There were generally so few films shown in classes back then that even boring ones like this were considered entertaining--by comparison to having to do regular classwork! Back in the 50's even non-moving film strips (which had to be manually click-advanced panel by single panel)were different and entertaining. Also, it's not possible to get across how entirely NON sexual the culture was then, at least where images like this were concerned. "Soapy" in the kid's room would've made a typical adult chuckle due to its silly premise, but unless he/she had been molested him/herself, most people would NOT have thought anything else about it. Yes, of course, there were always dirty jokes for dirty minds. But there is no way to convey how truly protected from evil images and innuendos most white middle-class children were. The laws which prevented kids from being exposed to stuff had a lot more teeth: cost a lot more $ in fines and lawyer fees & jail time for those who would break them than they do now. I don't doubt there were a lot more cases of molestation than we ever knew went on back then. At the same time, I can't help but feel that current overexposure to violent and oversexualized images is not doing children any good. Still, it's not possible to go back to "Soapy", nor would I want to. I would have rolled my eyes to this film back when I was a kid!
knoxville girl -
Subject: Is Soapy Ms. B Natural?
I'm getting confused. Did anthropomorphic sales pitches go visit girls in their bedrooms in the 50's, or was this just a guy thing?
I found this film to be overrated! It's nowhere near as strange as people would have you think. Still, it's very enjoyable, BUT i was hoping for MORE! Will the reviews on this website always suck? maybe I've become immune to stangeness? Maybe Im strange? maybe i should eat some potato chips? Anyway, good, but NOT that good.
Subject: The golden age of hygiene
Cowboy Billy learns through the sage advice of Soapy, a guy in a big, square soap costume reminiscent of a Lucky Strike outfit of the period in this fifties gem. Soapy mysteriously appears in Billy's bedroom (huh?), claims he's Billy's best friend, and shows him that soap is definitely not for sissies. Why does Soapy wear a wedding ring? Who is he married to? And who is that busy body voiceover that declares Billy the cleanest boy in town? We'll never know, but this one is worth it just for the hilarious tidbit that girls need to wash their hair at least every two weeks. Ew. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to show this in schools again, It might make some kid actually wash his hands after going to the toilet before he gets a job in fast food.
Subject: Typical early 1950's Health Ed. film for children
This script is not too imaginative, and some of the information is now dated. The faceless talking bar of soap is silly.
Subject: He's a slippery, stealthy fellow, that Soapy!
Possibly one of the strangest personal hygiene films ever made, Soapy the Germ Fighter is easily one of the most memorable entries in the genre. Aspiring young cowboy Billy Martin is always allowing his preadolescent machismo to prevent him from maintaining an effective personal hygiene regimen, and his parents are powerless to make him reform his ways. But things take a change for the better when a mysterious anthropomorphized cake of soap suddenly materializes before Billy's eyes shortly after he retires for the night. The salubrious visitor introduces himself as Soapy and tells Billy that cleanliness is not a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength. Through the use of arcane mind control techniques, Soapy is able to assert control over the youngster's impressionable mind and present him with several images of cowboys, children, and health officers performing various practices conducive to good health. Billy is easily persuaded by the end of the episode and, according to the narrator, becomes known as one of the cleanest boys in his town. One can only wonder if Soapy is still scouring neighbourhoods all over the country in search of children who hold misconceptions similar to the ones Billy eventually abandoned.
Subject: Billy Martin and The Brokeback Mountain Man
Billy looked awfull limp wristed when his hands were dirty... I think he was the inspriration for the cowboys in "Brokeback Mountain"... I hope he is still remembering to "Break off a piece to share his cookie." And, what is up with the ballet music at the beginning and ending of the film???? Oh, BILLY, they killed your masculinity!!!!!!
Too bad the Health Inspector" was so interested in checking the school cafeteria windows... his dad should have been checking Billy's bedroom window to keep creeps like Mr. Soapy out of his son's room at night! But, Billy's dad, like all good dads of his time, was far more interested in his son's dirty cuticles than a molester in his bedroom.
Subject: Scary giant soap!
Damn, being a kid can be tough sometimes. Another film where children have to endure pedophilic adults lurking in their bedroom in the middle of the night. Ok, Mr Soapy this time? Creepy guy in a soap costume trying to lure Billy into the bathroom is he? Something about "good hand habits" huh? Run Billy, RUN! He feels he wants to be Billy's "friend" more often that just on Saturday night does he? But little girls need not be concerned about Mr Soapy for two weeks? Where does Mr Soapy live during the the day? A seminary? Children be warned, avoid Mr Soapy in internet chat rooms, and never take soap from strangers!
Subject: not SO great after all
after reading the reviews on this site i could be forgiven for thinking this was something really special.....but its not really......i dunno....i havent watched so many of the films from the archive yet....but this doesnt make me say wow. i was bored fairly early on...surely the archive has better stuff to offer?
Captain Slackass -
Subject: Audio Won't Play
Actually, the mpeg4 (256), was crashing my players, but I downloaded the mpeg2, and it worked.
Now don't forget girls: you should wash your hair at least every 2 weeks. Hilarious
Oh my god! Germs are everywhere! Oh the panic, the mass hysteria, the tramplings!
I never knew that girls only wash their hair every two weeks...ICK!
Incidentally, Billy became transgender and you can see him perform Friday nights in West Hollywood. So maybe washing is for sissys after all? And remember to always wash your meat, and after you make doody.
Subject: Soapy was later arrested
Hoo boy, where to begin?
Billy Martin is one of the cleanest boys in town. How often are these standings updated?
If a mysterious voice comes to you in the middle of the night, claims to be your partner and wants to close your eyes to prove that you aren't a sissy, you may want to contact the school authorities in the morning. A must see.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Avoid Sissiness by Following the Advice of the Giant Bar of Soap in a Frilly Costume
Billy thinks washing is for sissies. That is, until a giant anthropomorphic bar of soap dressed in tights and a frilly shirt with puffy sleeves convinces him otherwise in a prissy voice. Not much more needs to be said about this film, which is definitely in the "What were they thinking?" category.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.
Subject: A Naked Bar of Soap Visits a Wannabe Cowboy
Young Billy Martin is a rather dirty young man. Always playing cowboy on a daily basis; always getting rather dirty. One night Billy is visited in his bedroom by a human-sized walking talking bar of soap named Soapy.
Soapy introduces himself to Billy by making a lot of interesting claims. For starters Soapy claims to be Billy's best friend, only Billy doesn't know this yet. Then Soapy invites Billy to be his partner. Soapy then begins to refute Billy's previously held beliefs regarding the sissiness of washing by showing a cowboy washing his hands.
This short film has loads of laughs... and you might learn something before its done.
Subject: Spot the Homoerotic references!!!
This is easily one of my favorite euphemeral movies ever.
Young Billy Martin, dirty kid, refuses to wash. Why? He doesn't want to be a 'Sissy'. That's fine.
If I told you that a giant talking bar of soap appears and asks him to close his eyes and let him be his partner, would that make you want to download this film RIGHT NOW???!!
I thought it would,
PS, Stay away from girls. They don't wash their hair for 2 weeks.
PPS Use good hand habits!!
I've seen this film at least 50 times (No really, I used it for my show) and audiences STILL get a kick out of it.
I'm sure you will too.
A MUST SEE on this site!!